Egyptian court suspends jail sentence against journalists | Reuters

CAIRO An Egyptian appeals court suspended a jail sentence on Saturday against the former head of the journalists' union for harbouring colleagues wanted by authorities and for spreading false news, judicial sources and a lawyer said.Yehia Qalash and two colleagues were sentenced to two years in jail in November in a case which Amnesty International condemned as a further crackdown on freedom of expression in Egypt.The appeals court on Saturday gave Qalash and the two board members, Khaled al-Balshy and Gamal Abdel Rahim, a one-year suspended jail sentence.

Prosecutors had ordered the three men face trial last May, amid efforts by Egyptian authorities to quell rising dissent against army general-turned-president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.The charges against them related to a police raid last May on the Journalists' Syndicate to arrest two opposition journalists who had sought shelter there from arrest.

Union officials said police stormed the building for the first time in the syndicate's 75-year history. The interior ministry denied that, but confirmed police had arrested the two journalists, Mahmoud El Sakka and Amr Badr.

Sakka and Badr, who are still awaiting trial, had criticised a deal between Egypt and Saudi Arabia which would have transferred two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. The deal has since been blocked by a court in Cairo which ruled the islands were sovereign Egyptian territory. Qalash's defence lawyer Shaaban Said said he considered Saturday's ruling satisfactory but he still planned to appeal to the Court of Cassation, Egypt's highest court.In the journalists' syndicate election earlier this month, Qalash and Balshy both failed in their bids for re-election. Abdel Rahim was re-elected as a board member. (Reporting by Mohamed Abdellah; Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing by Mark Potter)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date: Mar 25, 2017 22:02 PM

Also Watch

Social Media Star: Abhishek Bachchan, Varun Grover reveal how they handle selfies, trolls and broccoli
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 It's a Wrap: Soorma star Diljit Dosanjh and Hockey legend Sandeep Singh in conversation with Parul Sharma
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 Watch: Dalit man in Uttar Pradesh defies decades of prejudice by taking out baraat in Thakur-dominated Nizampur village
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 India's water crisis: After govt apathy, Odisha farmer carves out 3-km canal from hills to tackle scarcity in village
  • Sunday, July 15, 2018 Maurizio Sarri, named as new Chelsea manager, is owner Roman Abramovich's latest gamble in quest for 'perfect football'

Also See